Interleukin-2 (IL-2)

15-kD glycoprotein synthesized mainly by T helper cells.

Biological effects consist of proliferation and differentiation of B and T lymphocytes and cytotoxic cells, along with stimulation of cytokines and tumor necrosis factor.

High dose enhances the expansion of antitumoral immuno phenotype including natural killer cells, NK T cells, antigen activated CD8 T cells, mast cells, and dendritic cells.

Mediates signals between cells during an immune response.

T lymphocytes regulate the growth and differentiation of T cells and certain B cells through the release of secreted protein factors, which include interleukin 2 (IL2).

IL2 is a lymphokine that induces the proliferation of responsive T cells. 

In addition, it acts on some B cells, via receptor-specific binding, as a growth factor and antibody production stimulant.

A nonspecific T-cell growth factor.

IL-2 activates T-helper lymphocytes and induces the production of other cytokines.

It governs the action of cytotoxic lymphocytes.

The amount of IL-2 being produced by T-helper cells is believed to influence the extent of the immune response significantly.

Helps expand T cell subset, including T-cytotoxic, helper, and regulatory cells.

It is an autocrine T cell growth factor produced by T cells, and stimulates T cells secretion tumor necrosis factor and other cytokines like IL-4 and interferon-gamma, potentiates the proliferation and activation of T cells, including cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and natural killer and lymphokine-activated killer cell.

Receptors are present on the surface of normal and malignant T and B cells, monocytes and natural killer cells.

Antineoplastic effects mediated by the activation of natural killer cells and lymphokine activated killer cells.

High dose treatment is the standard of care for metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Careful selection of patients is mandatory as patients with more favorable performance status at treatment initiation respond better to this agent with higher response rates and lower toxicity.

Given intravenously or subcutaneously in combination with anti-retro viral therapy increases the CD4 positive cell count as compared with anti-retro viral therapy alone for HIV.

Lymphokine Used in HIV causes an increased CD4 positive T cell survival with half lives that can exceed three years, and also is characterized by increasing numbers of both naïve and central memory cells.

Increases in CD4 positive cell counts in HIV treated patients is higher with higher baseline CD4 positive cell counts.

In two trials, the Subcutaneous Recombinant, Human Interleukin-2 in HIV Infected Patients with Low CD4 positive Counts under Active Anti-Retro Viral therapy (SILCAAT) and the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT) revealed a sustained increase in CD4 positive cell count, as compared to anti-retroviral therapy alone, but interleukin 2+ anti-retroviral therapy yielded no clinical benefit.

Approved for use in metastatic melanoma,  however it is associated with a short half-life, high toxicity profile, including a potentially fatal vascular leak syndrome that requires  inpatient management to administer, eventual activation of counter regulatory immune pathways and resultant therapeutic resistance:presently replaced by more efficacious agents.


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